Natasha Richardson, the wife of Irish actor Liam Neeson and daughter of Vanessa Redgrave (who played Joan Didion in The Year of Magical Thinking: The Play), has died.
The Montreal Gazette reports that Richardson suffered a traumatic brain injury while skiing in Canada. She was walking around for an hour after the accident, says a Mont Tremblant ski resort spokesperson. She was not wearing a ski helmet on a private ski lesson on a beginners’ run. She fell and tumbled down a hill. Her two sons, Michael, 13 and Daniel, 12 were skiing with her at the time. There were no external injuries. After returning to her hotel room, she experienced headaches and was transported to Centre Hospitalier Laurentien, and later to intensive care at Sacre Coeur Hospital.
Over night, she was moved to the Lenox Hill hospital in New York, to allow relatives and close friends to say goodbye. Richardson had suffered an epidural hematoma. Click here to find out more about this medical condition. Silver screen legend Meryl Streep and author Joan Didion quietly dropped by Richardson’s hospital room to pay their final respects, according to the New York Post on Thursday 19th.
Natasha was the daughter of director Tony Richardson, who was married to Vanessa Redgrave for five years in the 1960′s. Tony, a close friend of Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne, died of complications from AIDS in 1991. In 1990, Natasha Richardson married her former husband, the producer Robert Fox, in a ceremony performed in Joan Didion’s New York apartment. According to the New York Times, it took place in the living room and afterward “there was a lunch at a nearby Italian restaurant, where everyone was treated to an impromptu duet of “Edelweiss” by Ms. Redgrave and the actor Rupert Everett.” Vanessa Redgrave played the character Joan Didion in The Year of Magical Thinking: The Play on the Broadway Stage in August 2007, which was directed by David Hare.
“Liam Neeson, his sons, and the entire family are shocked and devastated by the tragic death of their beloved Natasha,” said a statement from the family. “They are profoundly grateful for the support, love and prayers of everyone, and ask for privacy during this very difficult time.”
To read the New York Times obituary, click here.
To see a slideshow of Natasha Richardson’s career, click here.